You’ve probably noticed how institutions from Saturday Night Live to State Farm to El Pollo Loco have flipped the switch on their brands, some seemingly overnight. SNL broke new ground with their first online show featuring Tom Hanks’ monologue in his kitchen (hallway? kitchen hallway? what was that?). State Farm and other insurance carriers gave partial refunds to members since driving, thus, accidents are down. El Pollo went above and beyond by offering free home delivery “for as long as necessary.”
What do these three completely different organizations have in common?
They recognized the need and they stepped up, even though it wasn’t easy and probably cost them a few bucks to boot. What are you doing to ensure that your brand is in synch up with the times? Here are a few suggestions to help you.
Go deeper. Whether you’re as busy as ever, even more so, or at a pivot point where you need to regroup and reinvent, this is not the time to take the easy way out. Ask yourself the hard questions. What problem am I solving? Who am I serving? What is the best and highest use of my skills and talents?
Think community, not-self. Broaden your scope, including your products and services, to recognize the broader community. Consider free giveaways, contributions to charities, or other ways you can be part of the solution. Your loyal customers—whether that’s inside a corporation or external consumers— will love you even more and your new clients will see that you’re one of the good guys.
Update your messaging. This is a good time to check your language to make sure it’s comforting and inoffensive (unless that’s your vibe, of course). I used to talk about how positive social behaviors, such as listening and laughter, were contagious throughout the workplace. Now, casual references to contagion just don’t ring right.
Show your virtual know-how. It’s important to let your customers, clients, and colleagues know you are virtually good to go. While some of us (like me) are old hands at Zoom, plenty of people are still getting the hang of the online world. If you work within an organization, let your colleagues know you’ve got this and can help them, too. And if you serve external customers, reassure them that you are up to speed. Consider adding language like I have for my speaking clients to let them know that I present online using a professional microphone, lighting, and green screen. Ensure them that you’re a virtual pro.
To your success,